The No. 16 Indiana water polo team opened their 2017 season with split results on the first day of the UC Santa Barbara Winter Invitational. The Hoosiers (1-1) began the year with a 13-8 win over No. 25 CSU Bakersfield before dropping an 8-4 result to No. 9 UC Santa Barbara, the weekend hosts.
Junior attacker Sarah Young stood out in both opening day games, netting seven goals in total. Young’s four scores against the Roadrunners marked a career high, and the trio versus the Gauchos was her third career hat trick.
Following Young on the scoring leaderboard were three freshmen, two of which have only donned the Cream & Crimson since the start of the spring semester. Mollie Williams scored a combined three goals in two contests, followed by Kendall Doten and Joelle Nacouzi with two scores apiece. Jennifer Beadle, Sarah Myers, and Megan Abarta all notched one goal.
Game 1: Hoosiers Handle Roadrunners in Season Opener
Indiana 13, CSU Bakersfield 6
IU: 4 – 2 – 2 – 5
CSUB: 2 – 2 – 2 – 0
Indiana Goals: Young (4), Doten (2), Williams (2), Nacouzi (2), Beadle (1), Myers (1), Abarta (1)
CSUB Goals: Jensen (2), Wiltse (1), Barrett (1), Aldridge (1), Benson (1)
The Hoosiers shot out of a cannon to start the season with a 13-6 win over No. 25 CSU Bakersfield. The Roadrunners opened scoring in the first minute, but Indiana’s combination of Sarah Young and Joelle Nacouzi ensured a first quarter lead with the team’s first five goals. Each scored a goal within 30 seconds of one another following CSU Bakersfield’s 1-0 goal. After the Roadrunners scored the tying 2-2 goal, Young delivered a counterattack on the next possession before Nacouzi struck again to extend the lead.
Young opened the second quarter with her third goal of the game. The Roadrunners notched goals on a power play and a five-meter penalty to pull within two scores before the break, while Indiana’s Mollie Williams netted her first career goal midway through the quarter.
The Hoosiers and Roadrunners traded two goals apiece in the third quarter. Freshmen Kendall Doten and Megan Abarta scored their first career goals in their IU debuts to give the Hoosiers a two-score lead, 8-6, heading into the final quarter.
Indiana closed the game with an emphatic performance on both ends of the pool, ending with five unanswered scores in the fourth quarter. Young put the final touch on a career-best game with her fourth goal a minute into play. Doten followed to double up in her first career game at the midpoint. Jennifer Beadle and Sarah Myers scored their first goals of the season before Williams scored her second of the day with four seconds remaining.
Game 2: Second Half Power Play Dooms Hoosiers in Loss to UC Santa Barbara
UC Santa Barbara 8, Indiana 4
UCSB: 2 – 2 – 2 – 2
IU: 2 – 2 – 0 – 0
UCSB Goals: Shore (2), Pipkin (2), Kreiser (1), Snyder (1), Coski (1), Solberg (1)
Indiana Goals: Young (3), Williams (1)
Indiana returned to the pool later in the evening for a showdown with the invitational hosts, No. 9 UC Santa Barbara. The Hoosiers held even after 16 minutes, but the Gauchos closed the game with a 4-0 shutout in the second half for the win. Sarah Young once again led Indiana with a hat trick, the third of her career and second in two games this season.
The teams split four back-and-forth goals in the first quarter. Young netted both goals for Indiana, scoring a quick strike after the Gauchos took the 1-0 lead before netting a power play goal with two seconds remaining.
The Gauchos returned with two consecutive scores to start the second quarter, taking a 4-2 lead. The Hoosiers responded to tie it up before halftime. Young completed her hat trick with just over two minutes remaining in the half. Mollie Williams tied the game on IU’s next possession to make it 4-4 at the break.
UC Santa Barbara held a shutout in the second half. They extended their lead to 6-4 in the third quarter before scoring twice in the fourth.
Up Next: Day 2 of the UCSB Winter Invite
Saturday, January 21
2:20 p.m. ET | No. 16 Indiana (1-1) vs. No. 23 CSU Northridge (0-0)
7:30 p.m. ET | No. 16 Indiana (1-1) vs. No. 3 UCLA (2-0)
Campus Pool/Recreation Center • Santa Barbara, Calif.
The Hoosiers turn around for another challenging day at UC Santa Barbara. The action begins at 2:20 p.m. ET against No. 23 CSU Northridge, who begin their season against Indiana. After that, IU faces a showdown with No. 3 UCLA, who are off to an unbeaten start in 2017. The Bruins, who earned a third-place finish at last year’s NCAA Championships, is Indiana’s highest-ranked opponent since the Hoosiers last met No. 2 UCLA on February 1, 2015 at the Stanford Invitational.
News courtesy of Indiana Athletics.